Friday, March 20, 2015

Vegan Pressure Cooking: Delicious Beans, Grains, and One-Pot Meals in Minutes

I've had a pressure cooker (PC) for many years, but never used it. That all changed when I attended a demonstration given by the author of this book. I left the demo, drove home and started looking for my old cooker. That evening, I made two of the recipes demonstrated - Umami Anasazi beans (I used pinto since I did not have any Anasazi beans on hand) and mashed potatoes. Dinner was a hit so I ordered the book. Favorites so far are the white bean gravy, mushroom rice, white beans and greens soup, lentil & barley risotto and vegetable scrap broth. I like the book because it explains pressure cooking in a way that is very easy-to-understand. While I attended a demonstration, doing so certainly isn't necessary to using a PC with this book! The book is loaded with recipes for the kinds of food families actually eat. It also provides advise on buying a PC, so it's great even for people who do not yet have a PC, and also for those wanting to upgrade (something I did a mine was quite old). I'm not sure why I neglected my PC for so long, but it I guess it doesn't really matter. The ability to make healthy food fast is a wonderful gift. 

More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing

Jesse Hagopian has compiled a selection of essays telling the experience of school districts across the country who have rejected or resisted implementing standardized testing. Following his own experience at Garfield High School of "Scrapping the Map" test, he relates the many demonstrations of support the Garfield teachers received. Other schools have resisted testing for a variety of reasons, and the implication is that the tests don't cover curriculum students know, are being used unfairly to evaluate teachers, waste student time and computer access, and traumatize young children. I found this a valuable and influential compilation of the experience of many teachers in all parts of the United States.   I have a 8 year old that is taking these tests and they are ridiculous.  This author is completely correct in every aspect .

Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South

If you like basketball, sports, civil rights history, cultural analysis, or just good storytelling, this is the book for you. Maraniss really captures context and the daily struggles of a true, relatively unknown pioneer. It's inspiring and informative -- I learned so much about the city I grew up in and a person I (it turns out) knew so little about. Get this one now and you'll finish it quickly, it's very difficult to put down. 

Social Stratification in the United States: The American Profile Poster

This is an awesome item to own and the author does an excellent job of describing what is going on.  This item has great illustrations and is a great example of how to create a great example of todays society. 

Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids

This book is great and has so many ideas on how to make dinner more fun and interesting for my family.  The author does a great job in everyway of making you care a lot more about dinner and other meals and how to create more fun at the dinner place.  My family has seen a big change in me and how I create dinner. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Out of the Blue: The Kansas City Royals' Historic 2014

I love baseball and this story was one of the best sport stories ever.  This book captivates whoever is reading it and you can't put it down until you finish it.  The author does an excellent job of showing the reader just how important this event and the Royals winning the World Series is for sports .

2014–2015 Official Rules of the NHL

I love the NHL and this book has every single rule that exists for the NHL.  This book has more than enough info for any fan.  I couldn't believe this book even existed for a fan to buy.  I now feel like I am a expert in the sport. 

Inventions That Didn't Change the World

This book has so many inventions that I have never even heard of in it.  The author found so many creative inventions and different things I had no idea existed.  I learned so much from this book and can't believe that so many things exist that were invented and I had no idea existed.  I let some of my friends review this book as well and all of them loved it. 


Very interesting book - illustrations are wonderful, and CD was a really pleasant surprise. I can see why Donna Leon sometimes bothers the "natives," but I agree wholeheartedly with her concern about the Cruise Ships - keep them out of the canal - environmentally, it is insane to allow them in that historic and very special waterway. I can think of several possibilities to continue to make use of the tourist money without the ships on the inside.   This book was a fun read and I really enjoyed it in details.

You're Not Lost if You Can Still See the Truck: The Further Adventures of America's Everyman Outdoorsman

 have been waiting for this book for quite some time. I love reading Bill Heavey's shorts in F&S. He has a way to relate to those of us who are less than perfect when it comes to the outdoor lifestyle. I have often described him as a mix between Douglas Adams (for a sort of dry wit) and Robin Williams (for his ability to bring a sense of warmth and humor to even the most tragic of situations). Another thing I absolutely love about all books that are collections of shorts ("Kerplunk!" being another example) is how you are not committed for long to any certain chapter (though some here are a bit longer than others).

This author is one of the better authors I have read and all of his books are so in-depth and interesting that its hard to put them down until I finish them.  He really knows how to get a ready enthralled in his books. 

The Rosie Effect

I loved this sequel to the Rosie Project. The characters came to life again and I got a greater understanding of what life with an Asperger's adult could be like. One thing I really enjoyed was Rosie's reaction to all of the "expectant father" preparations that Don had made. The two books were read as back to back selections for my book club and we thoroughly enjoyed the story and its ups and downs, ins and outs, finally weaving a tapestry of a real couple's life.

This book couldn't have been a better sequel the way the author describes everyone and everything makes you not want to stop reading this book until you finish it. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Christendom Destroyed: Europe 1517-1648

I wouldn't recommend this book for those without a general knowledge of the history of the period or tying the many specific examples Greengrass uses might not coalesce into a comprehensible picture; however, the bits and pieces do make for interesting reading. I thought his approach to the 30 Years War provided a most interesting insight of the conflict: It contains virtually no military history - unusual for coverage of a war - rather he looks at the changing pressures put on the major players in the conflict, their motives, changing alliances and so forth that well explains this most confusing conflict in a new light. Scholars of this period should find this book indispensable; for the average reader perhaps a bit of a challenge - why I gave it four instead of five stars. The author's writing style is approachable but also interestingly oblique and pithy.

This book is excellent and I would recommend it to any of my friends who are interested in history.  This book was excellent and I enjoyed every word in it.  It was an amazing book and I give it 5 stars.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Inventions That Didn't Change the World by Julie Halls

Inventions that didn't change the world was a curious and good reading. You can see all the past attempts of technologies that never were. Some of them could be interesting is developed but others were just silly, useless (according to our current expectations, of course), a waste of time and money if they ever had been materialized. Also it was interesting to see how the advancements of science at those times (19th century) were conceived. I would say that the difficult in many of the proposed inventions could be precisely because the "inventors" of many of them didn't still have the technical requirements to fulfill them, both, in the design but also in the way that design would work (the lack of motored movement), for example. Another thing that I liked about the book is that is a good and esthetic design, hardcover with golden embroidered letters, something that is very rare with most books these days. So for everyone interested in past technology, inventions that never were, this is a highly recommended

Rick Steves Ireland 2015 by Rick Steves

We have followed Rick Steves for years and always purchase one of his travel books while we are contemplating a trip to a country he has written about. We are thinking about Ireland and this book is not letting us down. We always try and purchase the latest edition and this one seems to be written in an easy down home style.  This book was so excellent and I cant believe smart this author is and how he knows so much info about all these different places. 

Rick Steves Spain 2015

I really didn't think that I was going to be taking this book with me, but it ends up that I did. This is full of useful information, even for someone like me who intentionally gets lost. I like the self tours that are included for some of the major sites. I tear those out and take them inside with me. I also bought the smaller version for Andalusia which was extremely helpful as well.  This book was so excellent I can't believe how much information is in this small book. 

Wild Gourmet: Naturally Healthy Game, Fish and Fowl Recipes for Everyday Chefs

This book has great recipes and very unique ideas for food.  This book makes me want to go hunting just to be able to try some of these recipes and  try tons of different kinds of food that I have never tried before. This book couldn't have been more interesting.  I will let my hunter friends borrower it as well.

The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas 2015

Great travel guide for Vegas. The rating systems of the shows is helpful for groups of mixed ages. I'm new to e-books and for a travel guide, I think most readers like flipping through or going for one part of the book to another which is hard in an e-format. Next time I get a travel book, I will probably buy the hard back.

This book was great and it explains where so much stuff is to do in Vegas.  I let my friend borrower this book when she went to Vegas and she said she wouldn't have found half the stuff she did if she didn't have this book. 

The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2015

While I was happy to get the latest guide my only gripe about the 2015 edition is the cover photo featuring a scene of California Adventures. It is extremely out of date and looks like it belongs to a pre-2009 edition. I'm shocked this was allowed to go to print. Since this shouldn't reflect the information within the pages I still give it five stars.

Now for the review of the book and the series...

These guides have always been extremely helpful for us. Time and again, following the day plans, we've had stress free trips that actually leave us with plenty of time to do whatever we want afterwards. From the time you arrive at the esplanade to eating, planing hotels, shopping, and taking a break from your day the guide is a great primer for those new to the park and regulars. Updated yearly the guide accounts for changes in park attendance behaviors and attraction additions and subtractions. Sehlinger's team also provides a guide on peak attendance days at the resort. These guides have evolved each year with the parks.

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Excellent first book for beginners like me. Easy to read yet technically complete for what I have tried to learn so far. Good index - I have gone back to this as a reference. So you can read it straight through then you can go back an review specific topics.  This book was great and I learned so much from it and how to navigate the product.  This book couldn't have taught me anymore on this product than it did. 

iPad For Seniors For Dummies

This book was great I let my grandma review it and read this book.  She said she learned so much information from it and how to use her Ipad to the fullest extent.  She has never used technology before and this book made her want to use the Ipad more than anything I have ever seen.  She uses it everyday now and won't stop talking about how much she learned from it.